Saudi's Arabian Centres expects business to improve as restrictions ease

Mall operator sees higher footfall, occupancy rates

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres Company (ACC) said on Sunday that it expects its business to improve following the easing of restrictions in the kingdom. 

The Gulf state announced last week that effective October 17, COVID-19 restrictions across the kingdom will ease, allowing commercial outlets to resume operations to full capacity.  

Wearing masks and social distancing outdoors are no longer mandatory, while public venues, such as restaurants, cinemas, sports stadiums and other related facilities, are also allowed to operate at full capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. 

In a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), ACC said all its commercial centres will now operate at fully capacity, following the updated guidelines. However, it maintained that the shopping centres will allow entry only to visitors who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“[The easing of restrictions] will contribute [to] increasing the number of visitors to the company’s commercial centres, which will positively affect their occupancy rates,” ACC said. 

“ACC will continue to operate in accordance with the updated government guidelines regarding practice in the areas of public health and safety,” the company said. 

The company has 21 commercial centres and complexes in its portfolio. The properties, which have a total gross leasable area of 1.2 million square metres, are located in ten cities across Saudi Arabia. 

Its net profit for the full year ended March 31, 2021 fell 24.3 percent year-on-year to 486.7 million riyals ($129 million).  

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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